If you already have a will, you may think that you do not need more estate planning. Often, this is not the case. Additional estate planning can help you reach different goals and gain more peace of mind.
Doesn’t Your Will Dispose of Your Whole Estate?
A will explains how your executor should distribute any assets named in the will to your chosen heirs. Most wills have clauses at the end saying that any other assets in the estate go to a specific person. However, estate planning does not just concern distributing assets. Other issues that people tackle with estate plans include:
- Controlling distribution of wealth to relatives even after death
- Minimizing tax liability and probate fees
- Giving to charity
- Appointing someone to make medical or financial decisions if they cannot
- Expressing wishes for end-of-life care
- Protecting children and spouse for years to come
A will cannot necessarily accomplish all of these goals. If you feel that they are important to you, then you probably need additional estate planning.
Which Other Estate Planning Options Could You Use?
In Illinois, residents have many estate planning options available to them besides just a will. For example, you could consider:
- Creating a family trust
- Starting a charitable trust
- Taking out life insurance
- Changing beneficiary designations on retirement accounts
- Signing a medical power of attorney
- Signing a financial power of attorney
- Making a guardian designation
- Doing gift and estate tax planning
All of these options have different benefits that can help you reach your goals. For example, if you want to protect your children and spouse after you pass away, you might consider making a guardian designation, taking out life insurance, and creating a trust in your children’s benefit. All those structures can be set up in addition to a will that leaves assets to your spouse and children. If you are interested in expanding your estate plan beyond a will, talk to your estate planning lawyer about your options.
Want to start planning your estate? Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.